Name: Stacey Woolley
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom and licensed speech-language pathologist
How long have you lived in District 1? 10 ½ years
Why are you running for the Tulsa school board seat for District 1?
I believe in education as the great equalizer — a way in which all students can reach their fullest potential, becoming thriving members of society.
The National School Board Association states that the “most important responsibility of school boards is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local schools." I will be dedicated to the task of school board member and will respect the people who elect me to serve.
In both my own experience and through conversations with others, it is clear that working with community members is often for show and their opinions frequently are undervalued or ignored completely. I want to give parents, teachers and students a seat at the table.
What are your primary goals and objectives as a board member if elected?
My primary goal as a board member is to give a voice to Tulsa Public Schools families. Many school board members currently have direct connections to organizations in power within Tulsa. I am not one of those people. I am an educational advocate, stay-at-home mom and former PTA president.
Though many people speak to the need for both transparency and accountability, they fail to demonstrate either. I have a plan to be accessible to my constituents throughout both my campaign and time on the board. I’ll have weekly “office hours” at a variety of locations throughout District 1 so the people of my district will always have the opportunity to share their ideas, suggestions and concerns with me.
How has your background/experience prepared you to succeed in this role?
I hold an Oklahoma teaching certificate as a speech-language pathologist and am enrolled to begin taking courses for my certificate in school administration for principal in January.
I am also a mother of five, with two young adults and three currently enrolled in TPS. I am very involved and passionate about working to provide an exceptional and free public education to all students regardless of demographics.
Prior to and just after filing for my candidacy, I sat down with a majority of the current board to ask about their experiences and expectations of the job. I am prepared to dedicate my days to the task of listening and advocating for the families of District 1 and all of TPS.
District 1 received heavy attention this year during the lengthy, controversial process to rename Lee Elementary School. Although Gary Percefull eventually expressed support for the name change, the current board member of District 1 did not participate in the final vote, which otherwise received unanimous approval. What are your thoughts about the situation, and how would you have voted?
In 2017, the Tulsa school board voted 5-2 to consolidate a group of west Tulsa schools and reduce school staffing for the next school year. The consolidation was part of an effort to cut costs in anticipation of a state funding shortfall, and the District 1 schools were targeted based on declining enrollment and low utilization of space. How would you have handled the lead-up to the vote, and how would you have voted?
I would like to address both questions:
If I know how I would have voted without having direct input from the people of District 1, then I would be part of the problem. These are complex, emotional topics that would require hearing the full arguments of both sides in order to come to a conclusion. I do believe that the administration of TPS handled both of these events poorly based on the outcry of those directly involved in each process.
I have spoken with families from Council Oak, Clinton West and District 1 whose children attend various magnet schools within TPS and the common thread among them all is that they do not feel heard, valued or respected by current TPS administration.
So, while I cannot tell you how I would have voted on these specific measures, I can promise that I will always listen to, communicate with and involve the people of District 1 and then represent them by voting for their best interests.